Why Does Glaucoma Affect Senior Citizens? Jan. 25, 2016

How does glaucoma affect seniors? Brookfield Assisted Living

The “Silent Sight Stealer” better known as Glaucoma, is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and is highly misunderstood by many people. An estimated three million Americans are affected by this incurable disease and will inevitably go blind.  In honor of National Glaucoma Awareness month, Brookfield Assisted Living wants you to know the factors that put seniors at risk of developing this disease. 

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of various eye diseases that causes progressive damage to the eye’s optic nerve. The loss of nerve tissue eventually results in loss of vision and even blindness in advanced cases. There are four types of glaucoma, but open-angle glaucoma is the common form of the disease, which means there’s an increase of fluid pressure inside the eye. 

Whether a person will develop glaucoma depends on what level of pressure their optic nerve can handle without being damaged.  Seniors are more likely to develop this eye disease because they present the most risk factors.

The American Optometric Association states that the following factors can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.

Age:  People over the age of sixty are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. However, the risk increase for African-Americans begins at age forty. 

Race: Statistics show that minorities are at a greater risk of developing the disease and are more likely to suffer permanent vision lost.

Medical conditions: Some studies have shown a correlation of increased glaucoma in patients who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 

Family history: Having a family history of the disease increases the risk of developing glaucoma. 

Use of corticosteroid: Prolonged use of corticosteroids to treat eye inflammation or other diseases can put some people at risk of developing secondary glaucoma.

Glaucoma affects the elderly primarily because of their age group. As each year passes, the chance of developing the sight stealing disease rises. It’s important to get comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis to help protect your vision from glaucoma. These exams can play a critical role in catching the disease early before irreversible damage is done to your eyes.  

Anyone who develops the disease will need to continue treatment for the rest of his or her life. Adjustments to your treatment may need to be made over time since the disease can progress or change, making regular examinations and proper eye medications essential. 

If you’re looking for an assisted living facility for a loved one whose vision has been affected by glaucoma, the staff at Brookfield Assisted Living offers them the exceptional care they need.  Our three locations offer your family excellent support services, while in a comfortable, home-like environment with an array of excellent services. Call today to schedule a tour.

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Bella Vista (479)855-5600

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